Category Archives: Weapons

The unfair advantage: The subtle differences in 19th century French dueling épées

aa3Reduced weight.

Upside-down mounted blades.

A a sneakily set handle.

Early attempts in gaining an unfair advantage with épées de combat.

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Last Blood: The grave of the last German student killed in a thrust duel

Grab_Adolph_Erdmannsdörffer_3.jpg

The last German student to die as a result of a duel using thrusting swords—not unlike the French épée de combat—was the young jurist Adolph Erdmannsdörffer.

Buried in the village cemetery at Wöllnitz, now integrated into the Thuringia town of Jena, his grave marker recalls him as “das letzte Opfer der Stoßmensur” (the last victim of the thrust Mensur).

The worst part: It was his own fault.

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Caveat emptor: Things in the mirror are smaller than they appear

pariserOn April 1, 2017, FencingClassics gave the people what they wanted: 

FREE unconditional access to a FREE newly discovered resource. 

What it all worth it?

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“Trump voter restricts access to HEMA discovery”: HEMA, punked, blows a gasket!

17553935_10155065127702557_4645226273205536843_n.jpgTwo days ago, we offered our “restricted release” of the Alchemia Dimicandi, a recently discovered 17th-century German text on how to fight in combat to the death.

We made it free to download for those “qualified researchers” who sufficed the Trump Administration’s America First policies pursuant to the Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda of President Donald J. Trump, dated February 24, 2017.

You only had to meet two measly criteria to be a “qualified researcher” under that Order: You had to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. And you had to be a registered Republican.

Is that TOO much to ask??

Well, read on…

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Revealed: Alchemia Dimicandi—A Transcription of an Unknown late 17th-ct. German Fencing Text

smallsword rostockBetween the 1940’s and the early 1960’s the Diplom Fechtmeister (licensed fencing master) Karl Lochner discovered a short German text on “fencing in earnest”.

Dating from around the late 1600’s to early 1700’s, the “Alchemia Dimicandi” of a minor German nobleman cuts through the traditional Lektion-Contra-lektion patterns of contemporary fencing pedagogy—and provides a unique glimpse at actual, hands-on dueling practice with the transition rapier or small sword…

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FencingClassics to release “missing link” late 17th-ct. German fencing manuscript!

fool

This recently re-discovered transcript by an anonymous German noble could fill an important gap in the documentation of German fencing approaches between Paschen and Schmidt.

Under the sponsorship of the new Administration, we’re preparing a limited release of the manuscript.

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Old School: Four Kreußlerian Foils

kr3From the late 1600’s until the first decade of the 20th century, the Kreußler method of thrust fencing dominated the use of the foil and “Rappier”. Here are four representative varieties of the weapons used…

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See You at the 2015 American Smallsword Symposium in Timonium, Md.

SmallswordGranted, it’s been a while since I’ve made it to a Historical Sword-Fighting event…

This time around, I have no excuse not to go: Victor Markland has organized what is shaping up to be a great event right down the road from my club… Continue reading

Combative celebrity: The 1796 Rules and Regulations

marchant 1796 Rules and RegulationsLeafing through the most recent issue of the Smithsonian magazine, tellingly titled 101 Objects that Changed America, you can admire Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Bell’s telephone, and the titillating  tassels of the Talahassee Tassel Tosser.

(Alright, I made up the last one.)

Unfortunately, no fencer, swordsman, or whatever the appropriate term is that sectarian xiphomachophiliacs apply to their respective niche, made it into the issue. 

Are there artifacts whose provenance can be traced to individual celebrities of bladed combat? Luckily, there are a few things in the Amberger Collection that can make up for that shortcoming… and perhaps, with the help of our readers, we can come up with at least a Dirty Dozen…

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Lost and Found? Blackbeard’s Sword

blackbeardSure, it doesn’t look like much. Sure, there’s not enough of it left to really make sure it was a blade and not a paint scraper. Sure, it could have belonged to a powder monkey…

But I can dream, can’t I?

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